Hiding Empty Staves

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Hiding Empty Staves

Postby FrancesNewell on Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:30 am

I am working on a new original composition that is 9 minutes long.
That's a lot of pages!
I am cutting down the number of pages significantly by hiding the bass clef when there is no pedal part.
Would you all feel comfortable playing a score that looks like that?
FrancesNewell
 
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Re: Hiding Empty Staves

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:37 pm

I'll chime in on this! Speaking as a composer, editor and ultimately performer, I think it's perfectly fine to hide empty staves in situations like that. An example where this comes up is Roy Johnson's Elegy, where there is an extended section (about four lines) of notes all in the top two octaves, and for that, only the upper staff is used. Later, after the big climax, there is a recitative-like section that is in the bottom two octaves, but most easily done all in the manual, so it's on one (treble clef) staff for two more systems, so in all, there are six lines of music that are single-staff. The piece is 7 pages long even so, but it really does help in dealing with it to save a page of music like that. I think I have done the same in my own compositions occasionally. With the Courter Suite No. 1, I did that with the second movement when I put it in the method book, but I also needed to do that to get the thing to fit on two facing pages. (I had enough accordion-fold pages as it is!) So, there certainly is precedent for it.

Do any of you see a problem with that? - John Gouwens
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Re: Hiding Empty Staves

Postby FrancesNewell on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:14 pm

[b]John, You anticipated my next question! I have a few short segments where only the bass bells are played. (I think those magnificent low bells deserve to be heard by themselves occasionally, without anything on top of them!) Sometimes it is easier and more musical to play them manually. Is it acceptable to keep those low bells in the bass clef, but type in a comment over them saying, "mm 11-15 may be played manually"?[/b]
FrancesNewell
 
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Re: Hiding Empty Staves

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:29 pm

Sure it is, but I would say "may be played in the manual." The alternative isn't playing them "automatically!" As long as the instructions are clear, it's fine. (Of course, we carillonneurs will ultimately do whatever we want to anyway in that matter!)
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